The Center for Survivor Agency and Justice is a national organization that advances economic equity for survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
- Our Vision: We envision a world where all people have equal access to physical safety, economic security, and human dignity
- Our Mission: Our mission is to promote advocacy approaches that remove systemic barriers, enhance organizational responses, and improve professional practices to meet the self-defined needs of domestic and sexual violence survivors
- Our Values & Approach: To carry out our mission, we’ve established a number of organizational values and a theory of change that put the principles of survivor centered advocacy into our practice
CSAJ was founded in 2006 by our Executive Director, Erika Sussman. At the time, a Senior Attorney with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV), she directed a national project that assisted civil legal attorneys working with survivors. Through this project, Erika and then-colleagues noticed a critical gap:
Mainstream service delivery approaches were failing to meet survivors’ individual and comprehensive needs. Rather than start with survivors’ self-articulated needs, many lawyers were offering discrete, incomplete, and oftentimes irrelevant services.
CSAJ was formed to address this gap – to translate survivor-centered theory into legal practice. Once you center survivors’ experiences, their material and economic needs quickly rise to the top That is why, for more than a decade, we have led the field in achieving economic equity for survivors.
Since our inception, CSAJ has expanded economic equity for survivors of domestic and sexual violence across the nation. Working alongside advocates, attorneys, survivors, programs, and coalitions allows us to continually evolve our response, and deepen our impact.
NEW IN 2020: CSAJ mobilizes to address the pandemic by launching a National Survey on the Economic Impacts of COVID-19 on Survivors of Domestic Violence, convening Listening Sessions and Webinar Trainings on economic advocacy, and hosting a COVID Summit to create systems change.
Powerful advocacy requires that we build partnerships between disciplines and across movements – we do that in-house and through the work. Meet our powerful staff, board, and partners!
Staff & Board of Directors
Find out more about the people behind the work – the backgrounds, quirks, unique expertise, and leadership of our Staff and Board of Directors.
Partners are integral to CSAJ’s work. Our network of individuals and organizations across the country bring critical, on-the-ground expertise.